Abortion providers and patients have struggled on Friday to navigate the legal landscape surrounding abortion laws and access across the country since the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last week.
In Florida, a law banning abortion after 15 weeks took effect on Friday, the day after a judge declared it a violation of the state constitution and said he would sign an ordinance blocking the law temporarily next week. The ban could have wider consequences in the southern part of the country, as Florida has wider access to the process than its neighbors.
The right to abortion has been lost and restored in a few days in Kentucky. The so-called ignition law, which imposed an almost total ban on the procedure, came into force when the Supreme Court ruled, but a judge closed the law on Thursday, meaning that only two state abortion providers can continue to see patients – for now.
In Texas, abortions resumed during the first six weeks of pregnancy at some clinics after a Houston judge ruled that patients had that right, at least until a new ban on almost all abortions takes effect in the coming weeks. But the state has asked the Texas Supreme Court to block that order and allow prosecutors to enforce a ban on abortion now, which adds to the uncertainty.
It is almost certain that the legal dispute will continue to cause chaos for Americans seeking an abortion in the near future, as court rulings may change access to the operation with immediate notice and the influx of new patients from predominant providers outside the state.
Some of the cases concern arson laws that are specifically designed to limit abortions in the event of Roe’s fall, while other laws have been on hold until the Supreme Court ruling and are now being applied. Many of the legal challenges to abortion restrictions argue that their state’s constitution guarantees access to the procedure.
Even when women travel abroad with abortion bans, they may have fewer opportunities to end their pregnancies because of the prospects of prosecution.
Planned Parenthood of Montana this week stopped providing abortion drugs to patients living in banned states, including South Dakota, Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. This action reflects the seriousness of the problem of prosecution, even for abortion providers in states that have upheld abortion rights.
Planned Parenthood North Central States, which offers the surgery in Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska, tells its patients that they must take both pills in the treatment program in a state that allows abortion.
“There is a lot of confusion and concern that the providers may be in danger and they are trying to limit their responsibility so that they can provide people who need care,” said Dr. Daniel Grossman, who leads the Research Group Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco.
Emily Bisek, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood in the North Central States, said that in an “unknown and murky” legal environment, they have decided to tell patients that they must be in a state where it is legal to complete abortion, which requires taking two pills 24 more 48 hours in between. She said it was expected that most patients from banned countries would choose surgical abortions.
The use of abortion pills has been the most common method of terminating a pregnancy since 2000, when the US Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone – the main drug used in abortion. Taken with misoprostol, a medicine that causes cramps that empties the uterus, it is the abortion pill.
Access to the pills has become a key issue in abortion rights, with the Biden administration preparing to argue that states cannot ban drugs that have been approved by the FDA.
Kim Floren, who runs an abortion fund in South Dakota called the Justice Empowerment Network, said the development would further limit women’s choices and likely mean more people would travel to Colorado for abortions.
“The purpose of this law, however, is to intimidate people,” Floren said of a state ban on abortion and telemedicine advice on abortion. “The way to actually enforce this is a nightmare, but they rely on the fact that people will be scared.
South Dakota law enforcement went into effect Friday, threatening punishment for anyone who prescribes abortion drugs without permission from the South Dakota Medical Council.
Republican Gov. Kristi Noem, a staunch opponent of abortion, said in a statement that “doctors who deliberately break the law and prescribe these drugs to end their lives will be prosecuted.”
Changes in state abortion laws cause confusion among patients, clinics
Source link Changes in state abortion laws cause confusion among patients, clinics